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Thread: Putting together a Radio FM front end system

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Battle, East Sussex

    Posts: 98
    I'm Lee.

    Default Putting together a Radio FM front end system

    Hi,
    I would like to put together a small system possibly with a valve amp or diy valve amp just for listening to FM radio during the day, in particular BBC Radio 4 for speech and BBC Radio 3 for classical and concerts.

    I am thinking valve for a warmer sound for speech

    I want to have really good speech sound from BBC Radio 4

    I will use my AVI Neutrons MKIV speakers which are sort of similar to LS3/5a but not really if you know what I mean. They have been sitting around for ages so I might as well put them to work.

    According to a website my speakers are

    588D6A54-AA56-4DBB-AD13-352E01965318-1528-000000EC133AD0CA.png


    The Neutron IVís comprise of a five litre, ported enclosure, fitted with a 125mm doped paper mid/woofer and a "top of the range" 25mm fabric domed tweeter. The small loss of sensitivity involved with this type of drive unit is more than offset by the greatly reduced distortion/colouration that they offer. The crossover is textbook second order and uses massive Ferrite cored inductors and polypropylene capacitors. Internal cabinet resonances are damped by a measured quantity of acoustic wadding.

    Specifications:

    Size H X W X D: 265 x 140 x 205mm
    Bass Drive Unit: 125mm doped paper 25mm voice coil
    Tweeter: 25mm doped silk composite
    Crossover: 12dB/Octave Linkwitz-Riley
    Sensitivity: 87.5dB/W/M
    Amplitude response: +or- 2dB 100Hz to 23kHz
    Bass response: -6dB @ 65Hz
    Amplifier range: 30-150 Watts
    Finishes: Black Ash or Cherry real wood

    It would be on for a good part of the day.

    I am thinking of something 10-20w but you may think that would not work with the Neutron MKIV speakers.

    Looking forward to any advice

    Thanks

    Lee
    Itís about the music
    70s Retro Yamaha YP800TT, CA1000Mk2, CT1010

  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Sheffield/Peak District. UK

    Posts: 495
    I'm Richard.

    Default

    I have a World Designs (WD) El-84 valve amp that I built from a kit.

    I have a Denon TU-980 UD with a simple dipole metre up our front wall. Perfect! (ClassicFM about 90%).

    I'm very pleased.

    I also have a DenonTU 260LL-2 which, if it wasn't for lock-down I'd offer you - an excellent tuner and one I think, suggested by Marco.


    Richard

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2008

    Location: Galashiels

    Posts: 13,093
    I'm inthescottishmafia.

    Default

    Why not buy a vintage radiogram, ideal for R3 & 4.
    ďMusic has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel. Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel. I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radioĒ

    Hunter S Thompson

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Battle, East Sussex

    Posts: 98
    I'm Lee.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonky View Post
    I have a World Designs (WD) El-84 valve amp that I built from a kit.

    I have a Denon TU-980 UD with a simple dipole metre up our front wall. Perfect! (ClassicFM about 90%).

    I'm very pleased.

    I also have a DenonTU 260LL-2 which, if it wasn't for lock-down I'd offer you - an excellent tuner and one I think, suggested by Marco.


    Richard
    Hi Richard, what speakers do you have on the end of it?
    Do you know what model the WAD EL amp is?
    I have a bigger WAD amp the WD88VA XL but wouldnít like it on for long amounts of time most days just for the radio.

    Can you say more about the dipole aerial?

    Thanks

    Lee
    Itís about the music
    70s Retro Yamaha YP800TT, CA1000Mk2, CT1010

  5. #5
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Battle, East Sussex

    Posts: 98
    I'm Lee.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ali Tait View Post
    Why not buy a vintage radiogram, ideal for R3 & 4.
    Hi Ali,
    If I am right in thinking by radiogram you mean a big piece of furniture I donít have room for it.
    I did have a beautiful one in Yew and an amazing tuner etc all mint. I sold the furniture side of it and gave the mint tuner to my father in law who had no idea it was such a great piece and used it in his garage and ruined it


    Itís about the music
    70s Retro Yamaha YP800TT, CA1000Mk2, CT1010

  6. #6
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Sheffield/Peak District. UK

    Posts: 495
    I'm Richard.

    Default

    Lee, I have very efficient Living Voice Avatars.

    Amp: KEL84 Power 15W with the upgrade kit. I formerly paired that with a valve pre-amp but now find the sound a little better without.
    Dipole:I bought some 75 ohm co-ax from Amazon and stripped some thick mains flex back to the copper. Each of the 2 arms is 0.78m and vertically polarised towards the Chesterfield transmitter. I then used a fairly large choc box connector to connect the 2 arms with the earth and signal wires on the coax.

    I can send a pic if unsure.

    Hope that helps.

    Many will tell you that 'technically' BBC Radio sounds better over the internet...

    Richard.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

    Posts: 1,363
    I'm Dennis.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eldarvanyar View Post
    Hi,
    I would like to put together a small system possibly with a valve amp or diy valve amp just for listening to FM radio during the day, in particular BBC Radio 4 for speech and BBC Radio 3 for classical and concerts.

    I am thinking valve for a warmer sound for speech

    I want to have really good speech sound from BBC Radio 4

    I will use my AVI Neutrons MKIV speakers which are sort of similar to LS3/5a but not really if you know what I mean. They have been sitting around for ages so I might as well put them to work.

    According to a website my speakers are

    588D6A54-AA56-4DBB-AD13-352E01965318-1528-000000EC133AD0CA.png


    The Neutron IV’s comprise of a five litre, ported enclosure, fitted with a 125mm doped paper mid/woofer and a "top of the range" 25mm fabric domed tweeter. The small loss of sensitivity involved with this type of drive unit is more than offset by the greatly reduced distortion/colouration that they offer. The crossover is textbook second order and uses massive Ferrite cored inductors and polypropylene capacitors. Internal cabinet resonances are damped by a measured quantity of acoustic wadding.

    Specifications:

    Size H X W X D: 265 x 140 x 205mm
    Bass Drive Unit: 125mm doped paper 25mm voice coil
    Tweeter: 25mm doped silk composite
    Crossover: 12dB/Octave Linkwitz-Riley
    Sensitivity: 87.5dB/W/M
    Amplitude response: +or- 2dB 100Hz to 23kHz
    Bass response: -6dB @ 65Hz
    Amplifier range: 30-150 Watts
    Finishes: Black Ash or Cherry real wood

    It would be on for a good part of the day.

    I am thinking of something 10-20w but you may think that would not work with the Neutron MKIV speakers.

    Looking forward to any advice

    Thanks

    Lee
    "I want to have really good speech sound from BBC Radio 4 "
    Well good luck with that.

    I'm sorry, but you will not get that, and because they do not pay attention to speech quality any more, and may even not know how to produce it, such is their dumbing down.

    The BBC standards have dropped so much in the last 50 years that what was regarded as the exemplar of speech and general broadcast audio quality has been completely lost. (I worked for them from '70 to ''74, and my memory of just how good their speech was then is indelibly imprinted).

    Even in the late 70s their standards were dropping, and now with the new studio arrangements, round tables with mics circumferentially placed, so that when they speak to each other, turning their heads, they are 'off mic', so no top, but at the same time too close, giving mic. proximity bass boost, and large areas of glass panelling making the studios live in the mid and top, it is appalling.
    They have a table in front of them, and a computer screen, each boundary giving a 3dB boost at bass frequencies.

    With my own design speakers I was questioning their inherent design, and thought that maybe I had produced a poor one, so I did several iterations with improvements, but the poor speech remained, and the same errors were even audible on my old CRT Sony TV with small elliptical speakers.

    Now that I have a pair of very serious monitors, things are worse, the proximity eigentones are more pronounced because the speakers are able to better reproduce the high Q resonances due to poor mic technique.

    Alan Shaw of Harbeth has a thread on this, and also a sample of good quality speech he made with Derek Hughes (of Spendor and Graham fame), in the BBC anechoic chamber before it was demolished, and it was done on the best mics in the world, and it is a good reference.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Battle, East Sussex

    Posts: 98
    I'm Lee.

    Default

    Hi Pharos,
    Can you post the link to the Harbeth discussion?

    Thanks
    Itís about the music
    70s Retro Yamaha YP800TT, CA1000Mk2, CT1010

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: North Down /Northern Ireland/ UK

    Posts: 19,504
    I'm Neil.

    Default

    AVI Neutrons are nice speakers. They work well with Myriad electronics and Musical Fidelity A3, A5 series (not so much the more recent offerings from that point forwards)

    Regarding valves well yes, but the amp will need very good driving ability and should be in and around 75Watts.

    Make sure the speakers are supported on good stands with quality cabling, avoid QED silver anniversary Play around with speaker positioning, the Neutrons like a little space round them, but room boundary reinforcement if done cleverly will give you a nice balance of bass to mid and treble. Toe in is worth playing around with as a little can work well.

    FM tuners need good quality aerials (6 element yagi) so I would invest in a good one suitable for outside mounting or if loft is the only way, maybe a slightly better one as loft mounting will reduce the signal strength. Use high quality low loss 75ohm cable for this, not, repeat not sat cable or cheap co ax.

    A suitable tuner, many are going to throw their pet suggestions, some fair, some not so fair. My advice look for a Kenwood 3050 or 5020 tuner. You can’t do better without spending a lot more, and you can do worse paying more. Check the Tuner Info Network site for the shootouts. I have tested their views and I found they are spot on.
    Regards Neil

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